Leviticus 1-4; Psalm 38; Matthew 17:1-13; Acts  23:12-35 Matthew 17:1-13: The next event, the famous Transfiguration, connects to the previous by the phrase “And after six days” (17:1). What will it mean for some not to taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom? Some will see that coming of…

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Exodus 38-40; Psalm 37:23-40; Matthew 16:13-28; Acts  23:1-11 Matthew 16:13-28: Peter’s confession of Christ is justly famous, for good reason, and yet frequently misunderstood at the same time. Jesus begins by asking who people say that he is (16:13). This is a technique for teaching, asking a question in good Socratic mode, not because Jesus…

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Exodus 35-37; Psalm 37:1-22; Matthew 16:1-12; Acts  22  Matthew 16:1-12: The contrast between those who received Jesus’ teaching and responded with faith (like the Canaanite woman, 15:21-28), and others (like the Pharisees), becomes yet more stark and glaring. The Pharisees, along with the Sadducees, come to Jesus to test him (16:1). And what a test!…

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Exodus 34; Psalm 36; Matthew 15:21-39; Acts  21:27-40  Matthew 15:21-39: By contrast with the Pharisaic refusal to accept Jesus or listen to God’s Word, but rather instead trump God’s Word by means of their own human traditions—by contrast with this approach to Jesus, and God, we come across now the faith of a Canaanite woman.…

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Exodus 32-33; Psalm 35; Matthew 15:1-20; Acts  21:1-26  Matthew 15:1-20: Perhaps one of the most important teachings of Jesus is in a context where religion is common, and faith—real faith—must be contrasted against the mere externals of “Pharisaic religion” (under its various guises). It is possible to look very impressive on the outside, and follow…

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Exodus 30-31; Psalm 34; Matthew 14:22-36; Acts  20:13-38 Matthew 14:22-36: Perhaps one of the most famous miracles of all dominates the passage in front of us this morning: Jesus walking on water. Many people have wondered whether it is really possible. Could it be possible that someone would walk on water? I have read, or heard, discussions about…

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Exodus 27-29, Psalm 33, Matthew 14:1-21, Acts 20:1-12 Matthew 14:1-21: John the Baptist, the greatest prophet, the one who made straight the path leading to Christ and prepared the way for him, is dead. As Jesus’ fame grows, King Herod begins to think that somehow John the Baptist has returned from the dead and is…

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Exodus 24-26, Psalm 32, Matthew 13:44-58, Acts 19:23-41 Matthew 13:44-58: More parables, with a final description of what took place after them—“A prophet is not without honor except in his own hometown” (13:57). The first parable is of a treasure hidden in a field (13:44). A man discovers it and then sells everything he has to buy…

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Exodus 21-23, Psalm 31, Matthew 13:24-43, Acts 19:1-22 Matthew 13:24-43: More parables, and each of them about the kingdom of heaven, and each with great meaning. The first is the parable of the weeds (13:24-30). A right interpretation of this parable rests on Jesus’ own interpretation given in verses 36-43. Critically, it is important to…

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Exodus 19-20, Psalm 30, Matthew 13:1-23, Acts 18:18-28 Matthew 13:1-23: One of the most well-known stories that Jesus ever told is this parable of the sower (13:3-8). It is so familiar to many of us as it is such good material for children’s teaching. It is imbibed from such an early age if we grew…

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